Magic Johnson, Ron Burkle Invest In Vibe; Magic Named Chairman

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Magic Johnson and investor Ron Burkle are entering into the publishing business, as Magic Johnson Enterprises and Burkle’s Yucaipa Companies have announced a strategic investment in Vibe Holdings LLC.

The pair joins Vibe Holdings’ existing investors Intermedia Partners as owners of Vibe LLC., with Magic Johnson operating as Chairman of the company, which owns Vibe Magazine, Vibe.com, Uptown Magazine and the Soul Train TV show and library.

As Chairman, Magic Johnson will utilize his expertise in developing the urban market and leverage his connections to build relationships between Vibe’s brands and advertisers.

“The mission of Magic Johnson Enterprises is focused on building mutually beneficial relationships between corporations and the underserved urban market,” Magic Johnson told AllHipHop.com in a statement released this morning (February 9th).

“Through programs designed to cultivate the existing profit potential of this burgeoning, and frequently neglected demographic, we are able to revitalize and maximize profit margins,” Magic said. “Currently the landscape of modern media lacks a platform to serve this community on a global scale. History and legacy are paramount in building brand affinity and we plan to integrate this ideology into the resurgence of Vibe Holdings. Through leveraging established brand equity we will create a pertinent message vehicle for major advertisers.  We will redefine Vibe Holdings as the center of influence for the coveted urban audience.”

According to Magic, the backing of Intermedia, MJE and The Yucaipa Companies, makes a powerful combination.

Yucaipa, is familiar with the urban landscape as well. The company, which is headed by Ron Burkle, dropped $100 million into Sean “Diddy” Combs Sean John Clothing Line in 2003.

“Yucaipa’s experience in buying and building consumer businesses, along with Earvin’s brand and his business acumen are a great complement to InterMedia’s experience in media and make this an exciting partnership,” added Burkle, Managing Partner of The Yucaipa Companies. “We intend to build one of the most important enterprises in urban media.”

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